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Patients face HIV tests

7th November 2006

20092006_hiv1.jpgMore than a thousand patients have been recalled for testing after a healthcare worker was diagnosed with HIV and hepatitis B.

A total of 1,185 people treated at four hospitals in the West Midlands and Southampton areas over the last six years, have been asked to attend clinics for blood tests. Confidential helplines have also been set up.

No patient in contact with the worker has been diagnosed with either of the infections, but there is a ‘small risk’ of transmission, according to experts.

The healthworker was employed in orthopaedics at Redditch's Alexandra Hospital, Kidderminster Hospital and the Orthopaedic Hospital in Birmingham, and Evesham Community Hospital.

The hospitals have written directly to the patients affected. The vast majority of patients are from the West Midlands.

The worker was not aware of the infections and had no symptoms, but both were picked up by an occupational health assessment. Since then, the worker has not been involved in any work that may place patients at risk.

There are no recorded cases of transmission of HIV between a health worker and patient, and risk of transmission for hepatitis is low.

Under national guidelines, the worker would have been screened for hepatitis B when employed by the NHS. Similar guidelines for HIV are currently in draft form.

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Article Information

Title: Patients face HIV tests
Author: Martine Hamilton
Article Id: 1040
Date Added: 7th Nov 2006


BBC News

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